Tuesday, June 28, 2005

AD 53 Special Election: The Potentials

It's impossible not to think about his replacement even while mourning El Seguno Assemblyman Mike Gordon - and The Roundup offers a few names collected by the AP - including Manhattan Beach Councilman Jim Aldinger.

I've met councilman Aldinger several times since my AD borders the 53rd. He ran for Region 17 Director at the last CDP convention and lost to Palos Verdes's Kevin Biggers (whom I supported). Based on some (not all) of those who supporte Aldinger in the RD race, I wouldn't back him in the Special. Plus it'd be nice to see someone young and fresh in the seat - someone worthy of following up Mike Gordon.

In Other News:

PETA is still dumb. Their newest local crusade is to convince Long Beach's Acquarium of the Pacific to remove fish from its cafeteria menu. Yeah, okay, so it's kinda funny to get a fish dinner at an aquarium. But, the "Fish Empathy Project?" Seriously?

I used to work at an aquarium. I love fish. Both in a tank and wrapped in kelp and rice with a side of wasabi. Or just nicely grilled and tasty.

Hey PETA, why don't you focus on not killing the animals in your possession before you fret about sustainable, environmentally friendly seafood at a world-class aquarium?

And, of course:

A new Field Poll shows that everything thinks CA's going down the tubes and that it's our leaderships' fault. Congrats, Arnold, you successfully blew up a bunch of boxes. Sadly, those were the foundations upon which our government was built: respect of law and trust in representative democracy. Didn't realize you were standing on equally shaky footing, didja? Bummer. Way to go.

And my own State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) will help announce a redistricting reform proposal today that L.A. Daily News says would result in Senate Dems (I can only assume they mean Legislative Dems, or just the Legislature, generally) retaining their political control over districting.

The plan - which still removes the maps from Legislative hands - vests the power in an independent commission, not a three-member panel of retired judges. Four of seven commissioners would be appointed by Legislative leaders - the Pro Tem, Speaker, Assembly and Senate Minority Leaders - and the remaining 3 by the Governor, Judicial Council, and - for kicks - the President of the University of California. The plan is also, by the way, hardly new. New to you, perhaps, but not spanking-new by any means (you can track SCA 3's changes here).

Several other states, including Arizona (on whose first independent commission run redistricting I briefly worked in 2001), use independent commissions. They aren't perfect, but they would be better than the current system. My favorite part of most set-ups is that commissioners are prohibited from running for 6 years after the adoption of a plan so they aren't motivated to draw themselves a district in which to run. (tick, tick, tick, tick, tick). By now you should be thinking, "wait, aren't lines redrawn every ten years?" You would be right.

Not that I think judges are inately less partial or more able to execute a fair redistricting - in fact, I'm generally against the conventional wisdom that judges are so special like that. But I would prefer a 3-judge panel to an independent commission. I'd also prefer the Ted "I have a lot of money, so let's govern MY way" Costa ballot proposal didn't include mid-decade redistricting. That swamps it (even though, realistically, folks would just litigate until the new data comes out anyway).

We'll see what happens.

8 comments:

Eric said...

Torrance City Councilmember Ted Lieu may step up to the plate after
Mike Gordon's death. Ted brings some excellent credentials to the table--a Democrat with military service to boot.

Richard said...

Also a Ted Lieu fan here. Smart guy - seems like he'd be a good fit for the district. Nakano-style politics with more charisma than George (sorry George, love ya, but a little dry...)

Of course, then we'd have 2 Lius/Lieus in the Assembly, though I'm always partial to the original! I wonder if this will confuse the non-Asian members like having 3 Chinese women in the Legislature has. How many times have members (or even Assembly TV) referred to Carol Liu as Judy Chu or Wilma Chan? Too many, I'll tell you. I never understood how they could keep all the white males straight but not 3 totally different looking women.

Anyhow, rant over.

Anonymous said...

George Nakano and Ted Lieu both have sold their souls to Fabian Nunez. He's the one really calling the shots in the district races. He says jump...they say how high. It's all about power and how do I get it. I hope Dems in the Southbay
stay home Sept 13 in protest of their duplicitous fellow Dems. They were so threatened by Jim Aldinger they pulled out ALL the stops. I used to spell Republican: D.I.R.T.Y. They don't have anything on this party.

cd said...

You hope Dems stay home? In protest? Exactly whom would that protest aid?

And while I don't know that much about Ted Lieu, I know that George Nakano is a widely respected figure in both the South Bay and in Sacramento. I think the worst thing I've ever heard anyone say about him is that he's quiet. He's a good man and a good public servant.

The only thing working for Jim Aldinger that I've ever felt is a hefty feeling of self-entitlement.

Each party has it's dirty laundry, that's certainly true. But I don't think failing to support Jim Aldinger's bid is anything other than a wise move. I welcome evidence that would convince me otherwise, but as of now, I wouldn't vote for him.

A.D.Otis said...

If you think big development has all the answers then Ted Lieu is your man. Just ask the organizers of the Torr Hmwnrs. Assn. They're up in arms against him. Aldinger has a long history of being on the right side of progressive issues. Ted is just one more Republican-Light.

cd said...

Ah, it seems the Friends of Jim Aldinger have found my blog . . . interesting. Thumbs up on your google-ing.

You'll note, however, I haven't expressed much on Lieu either way. I won't, however, agree with any comment slamming George Nakano. And I just don't think I'll ever be confident in Aldinger.

As far as "Republican-Light" goes - there's never a shortage of those in the Beach Cities. Such is life, however . . . . I doubt Ted Lieu is one, though.

A.D.Otis said...

All Dems should be upset with any other Dems that worked to keep competition out of the 53rd race. Nunez usurped our right to decide our race for ourselves. Is this REALLY OK with all you Dems? The State Dems NEVER have stepped into our district and endorsed ahead of a primary. I'm far from the only one that's upset about this. Try going to some local Dem meetings. There's been a huge uproar in Sacto about this but they're working hard to keep it quiet. The pressure coming down the party was tremendous to keep endorsements away from Aldinger. But all this is academic as he dropped out yesterday. I thought only Republicans ate their own.

Anonymous said...

I've heard Aldinger has waaaaay too much personal baggage to make him viable.